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An Exploration of Racial Identity and Performance in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

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dc.contributor.advisor Solomon, Asali Bowles, Jamauri 2017-08-31T11:58:54Z 2017-08-31T11:58:54Z 2017
dc.description.abstract The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man was published at the start of the 20th century, and the story’s setting is the post-Reconstruction era in the United States. The novel focuses on racial identity, but it also prominently features the theme of performance. This paper will investigate how performance creates a disruption in how the main character of the book looks at his racial identity, and how he attempts to re-establish his understanding of it and the comfort that it affords him, to no avail. It will also look at how the main character’s life experiences illuminate ideas of double-consciousness and passing. In this paper, the presence of performance in the novel will be explored through the main character’s relationships with his parents, his interactions with music, and locations and travels to different cities. By the conclusion of this paper, it will be seen that performance illustrates both subtle and obvious ways to see how blackness is marginalized in society, and that the main character’s feelings of alienation and isolation, which arise from his struggle with his racial identity, indicate a perceived inferiority of blackness to whiteness in America.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.title An Exploration of Racial Identity and Performance in The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Dark Archive

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